Book Review: Another Day in Lincoln’s Army: The Civil War Journals of Sgt. John T. Booth; 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Gen. George Crook

Marie Mollohan has done the Civil War community a great service by publishing this book. It is so much more than the title indicates. Aside from 21 pages of photographs, it is nearly 700 pages of raw Civil War source material from the soldiers of the 36th Ohio. You see, Booth was supposed to have written the regimental history of the 36th Ohio but never quite got around to putting it together. Like many of us modern day Civil War historians, he found it hard to stop researching and finalize his project. The result was a box of material known as the John T. Booth Papers at the Ohio Historical Society, a veritable treasure trove of detailed accounts of the Civil War by soldiers of the 36th Ohio. It includes Booth’s journals and those of other members of the regiment, letters, memoirs and newspaper clippings.

The 36th Ohio has never been mentioned in the same breath of more famous units such as the Irish Brigade or the Iron Brigade, but it was indeed a crack combat regiment that was melded together by no less a man than General George Crook. The regiment quickly became known as Crook’s Regulars and like their modest commander, the men never took to bragging about their accomplishments in the post war years. Their feats on battlefields as varied as South Mountain, Antietam, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Cloyd’s Mountain, Opequon Creek, Fisher’s Hilll and Cedar Creek make them a most unusual regiment to study as they do not fit into any of the normal eastern or western theater pattern of operations.

This book is great for anyone who loves to research and delve into primary accounts of the Civil War. The regiment’s diverse experience means that it will have something to interest almost everyone. I am also grateful that instead of writing the usual cookie cutter regimental history, Ms. Mollohan decided to share with everyone this fine collection of primary source material. In essence, she has let the soldiers of “Crook’s Regulars,” as the regiment was known, tell their own story. She has arranged it chronologically so that readers can easily compare the accounts of the same event by various participants. While this may not sit well with those looking to just sit down and read a story, this book is a researchers dream. The only drawback is that at nearly 700 pages, the cost is $50, but then again some publishers are selling Civil War books at higher cost than that for much smaller books.

Ms. Mollohan, you have nobly honored the fighting men of the 36th Ohio and fulfilled Sgt. Booth’s assignment to publish their story.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Regiments/Units

2 responses to “Book Review: Another Day in Lincoln’s Army: The Civil War Journals of Sgt. John T. Booth; 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

  1. This is pretty much an unknown gem.

  2. Jerry

    Great Book. Thanks for the tip.

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